The skies over Knoxville will again see the Navy's Blue Angels. The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority announced Tuesday that in 2016 the celebrated demonstration team is joining the Smoky Mountain Air Show.
McGhee Tyson Airport used to hold air shows every other year or so. But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, military resources were redirected overseas. That made it difficult for the air show to exist. More than a decade later, we are seeing the return of the show.
"Previous years the airshow has drawn over 200,000 people, and it's been 15 years since we had one in the region," said Bill Marrison, president of the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority.
Knox County officials teamed up with the airport and air base in applying for the Blue Angels to make an appearance. The group signed on to perform April 16-17 in 2016.
Col. Thomas Cauthen with the 134th Air Refueling Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard says such demonstrations help promote the work of the Guard to younger generations.
"It really introduces a lot of folks to aviation and lights that fire in them that makes them want to be a part of the aviation," said Cauthen.
More information is expected to released about the 2016 show in the coming months.